"Patton" tells the tale of General George S. Patton, famous tank commander of World War II. The film begins with Patton's career in North Africa and progresses through the invasion of Europe and the fall of the Third Reich. Side plots also speak of Patton's numerous faults such his temper and tendency toward insubordination, faults that would prevent him from becoming the lead American general in the Normandy Invasion as well as to his being relieved as Occupation Commander of Germany.Written by
Anthony Hughes <email@example.com>
Believing that a "soldier should be buried where he falls" and wanting to be buried "with his men" (those in the Third Army who had been killed in action), Patton is buried at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial located in Hamm, Luxembourg. See more »
After Gen Patton fires his pistol at the strafing German bombers, he tucks it into his belt even though he's wearing a shoulder holster for it. See more »
Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.
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Opening credits prologue: KASSERINE PASS TUNISIA, 1943 See more »
The Italian version is approx. 20 minutes shorter and removes all scenes set in the German Military HQ and/or showing German officers: although the credits still include the names of German performers, like Karl Michael Vogler as Marshall Rommel, their characters never appear onscreen in the Italian release. See more »
To the Colors
Traditional bugle call used in lieu of the National Anthem. Played at the opening scene. See more »
Viewed in Context
PATTON was truly a shock to the system when it was released. The United States was still in the thick of the Vietnam war, and the country was extremely polarized between the hawks and the doves. Then along comes Patton, with a portrayal of a rebellious General who was always being put in his place by the establishment - even though he was, of course, a major establishment figure (generals aren't usually the most liberal or progressive types). Eisenhower (unseen) and the media are portrayed as unsympathetic to the maverick Patton, who is so single-minded in his determination to defeat the Germans you have to root for him, despite his boorish behavior.
And that is why Patton works - you have an unambiguous war against and unambiguous evil - Nazi Germany. Whereas Vietnam might have been a tough conflict for even its supporters to explain, World War Two was quite simple - we were the good guys, and they WERE the bad guys. And so you COULD root for the US Army and Patton without feeling a tinge of guilt.
Also superb in the film is everyman Karl Malden as General Omar Bradley, providing the stable and workmanlike leader (and one who rises quicker in the ranks due to it) to Patton's egomaniac.
And Yes, George C. Scott delivers a career-defining performance that is one for the books. Could Brando or Telly Savalas have pulled off the role as well? I don't think so - it was just tailor made for Scott.
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